Jahlil Okafor, former #3 overall pick for the Sixers and divisive figure amongst the fanbase, has agreed to a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, according to Woj:
Free agent center Jahlil Okafor has agreed to a deal with New Orleans, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 8, 2018
Just when you thought the Chinese Basketball Association would get their next star, Jah rolled out of bed and rode south to The Big Easy.
Okafor was traded from the Sixers to the Brooklyn Nets last season, which is crazy to read as I write it. It feels like Okafor’s Sixers tenure was a decade ago, yet he was on the team as recently as December ‘17. After arriving in Brooklyn, Okafor racked up 28 DNPs, along with some inactives sprinkled in and a “did not dress” here and there. It’s been real fall from grace considering Okafor was a highly touted prospect by some going into the 2015 NBA Draft. Now, for many Sixers fans, Okafor is seen as the big mistake of Hinkie’s reign as general manager of the Sixers. Hinkie selected the Duke center 3rd overall while Devin Booker (Booker went 13th, but there were some who saw him as a top 5 talent) and Kristaps Porzingis were still on the board.
The sad truth for Jahlil is that the game has passed him by — had he been drafted a decade or two ago, maybe he ends up a perennial All-Star. Jah is still young, maybe he “figures it out” but the guy still seems to have a painful lack of self-awareness. Just a few weeks ago he posted a summer workout video to show how he’s transformed his game, and what was he doing in that video? Taking a heaping handful of mid-range jumpers.
Some feel sad for Jah and his career path, some are angry with Jah for refusing to conform to the modern game, and some feel happy for Jah that he’s getting another chance. I don’t feel anything. It’s just something that happened, all of it. There was the speeding incident on the bridge, there was the street fight in Boston, there was the outspoken father, there was, of course, the rolling out of bed with 20 and 10. And now it’s all just part of the past. I’m done with it. I really couldn’t be less interested in where his career goes from here (who am I kidding? I’ll be checking his box scores), but good for him for getting paid.